Wind power in Ohio

Ohio wind energy development has stalled since 2014. A last-minute amendment slipped into that year’s budget bill increased the required distance between a turbine and a building or property line. Eight projects in the pipeline at the time were killed and no new projects have been approved since, because the new setback law made wind projects unfeasible.

Before the law changed in 2014, the industry spent nearly $1 billion building several wind farms in northwest Ohio. Taxes and lease payments for those original projects are on course to pour $1.07 billion into local economies, including construction and operation, lease payments to property owners and taxes to schools and local government. If we fix the wind setbacks law now, a potential $4.2 billion in economic development in our state could be unleashed.

Prices of wind power have dropped significantly

Wind turbine prices have fallen by around 50% in 2010-2017, depending on the market, leading to cheaper wind power globally. Onshore wind electricity costs have dropped by almost a quarter since 2010, with average costs of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour in 2017 – a price that is competitive with any of Ohio’s utilities’ prices.

Wind is good for farmers, good for Ohio

Paulding County in Northwest Ohio is one example of wind working for the community. The county’s Timber Road II Wind Farm checks all the boxes for a utility-scale wind project: strong wind resources, excellent access to a transmission line, and proximity to power markets. The wind farm complements agricultural land use in the area (primarily corn, soy beans, and wheat), allowing Ohio farmers the option to supplement farming with revenue from wind. With farming profits so dependent upon unpredictable weather and price volatility, the reliability of wind farm revenue provides farmers security.

How does Ohio measure up to our neighbors?

Right now, Ohio’s 617 MW (megawatts) of wind generation capacity pales to that of our closest neighbors. Even West Virginia -the capital of Coal Country- has installed 686 MW. Our potential to generate wind power dwarfs neighboring Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan, so we have room to catch up. And that potential means potential dollars too, as Ohio ranks #1 in the U.S. for wind-related manufacturing.

Read the report, Blowing in the Wind, A study on the Impact of Ohio’s Restrictive Wind Setback Law, by A Renewable America